Facebook Pixel

Shoveling snow is a moderately strenuous form of exercise

By Expert HERWriter
Rate This

For the last week or so, the D.C. metropolitan area has been covered and overwhelmed with snow. In the past seven days there have been three snowstorms; two were considered blizzards.

Other cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region have also had quite a bit of snow. I have to admit, watching the snowfall and seeing the still beauty as it coats the landscape is breaktaking. The other breaktaking thing about the snow is shoveling the snow- it can be quite strenuous exercise!

Shoveling out my Grammy's house and driveway were certainly a workout. Luckily, I have lived in very snowy places like Chicago, Ill. and Bridgeport, Conn., so I have been schooled in the correct posture and positions for shoveling. I was taught by the experts to use my legs by bending down (and not my back) to shovel snow.

Since shoveling snow is considered exercise it is a good idea to do some stretching before you go outside to start digging out. It is great exercise for people of all ages; even healthy and fit young people can get their blood pumping after just a few minutes. If you have any restrictions related to exercise it is always a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure shoveling will not cause you to over exert yourself. It might seem silly to call your doctor, but since we had so much snow on the East Coast, the call is important if you have restrictions.

Shoveling snow is considered cardiovascular exercise, as well as weight lifting exercise. This makes it a great form of functional exercise. You end up releasing cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, growth hormones, insulin-like growth factor 1, (IGF-1), which are all are released when you do other forms of moderate exercise.

So as I was slowly digging my way out of the house this week, I kept saying to myself, "this is wonderful exercise and I am doing my body good." I do have to admit I loved the crisp winter air- and there is no other way that I would have spent as much time outside if I was not digging out!

I found a way to stay healthy and get ready for work at the same time.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae

Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com

Add a Comment2 Comments

Expert HERWriter

You are welcome!

March 5, 2010 - 8:26am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Dr Dae

Thanks for this post. Living where I do, shoveling snow can be like a whole weeks worth of exercise!

I don't think, as you said, that it's silly at all to check your health before shoveling snow. Every year in my region, we hear too many stories of older people who stress their hearts too much when shoveling snow, as well as suffering from hypothermia. Unless an older person (over 75) is of really good health, I say we encourage them to take brisk walks and low impact exercise, and leave the shoveling to family, friends and good neighbors!

We invested in a snow blower last year. While it still exposes us (or should I say my husband!) to freezing temps, it makes life so much easier and is still a good form of exercise .

Thanks you for the great information you provided!

February 12, 2010 - 12:49pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



Get Email Updates

Fitness Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!